Go Rogue! Workshop Series


The new Ontario government has decided that our province’s young people don’t need to learn essential information on safer sex, consent, gender identity, residential schools and truth and reconciliation, and more.

We disagree.

speqtrum has teamed up with SACHA, The Aids Network, YWCA Hamilton, and North Hamilton Community Health Centre to bring YOU the information that your school WON’T.

When: 6-8pm
YWCA Senior’s Centre – 75 MacNab Street South, Hamilton ON

Rogue workshops are open to ALL youth 16-29*.


Gendered washrooms will be converted to all gender in the Senior’s Centre, and there are single non-gendered accessible washrooms on the first floor and basement of the YWCA.

The space is physically accessible. Fidget toys available. Please let us know if you have any access needs.

*We won’t be carding folks at the door.

August 8th – Consent

The new changes to sex education in Ontario makes it so youth are not going to be taught about gender identity, same sex marriage, consent, online violence, and much more.

This SACHA workshop for youth aged 16-29* will help participants get the facts about consent, sexual assault, and bystander intervention.

Let us know you’re coming by filling out this form – https://consent.brownpapertickets.com/

August 15th – Safer Sex

Let’s talk about (Queer Inclusive Safer) Sex!

Join Eno and Eddy from The Aids Network to talk about all kinds of sex, safety, and sexuality as part of our Rogue Workshop Series.

August 22nd – Truth and Reconcilitation

Learn the TRUTH about Canadian residential schools and reconciliation.

Laura Kooji, local two-spirit activist, will bring some real talk on what Truth and Reconciliation means, and how we, as young people, can participate in that process.

August 29th – Youth Action Planning

Calling all queer, trans, and two-spirit youth, and our allies to join us in planning for ACTION to make sure this generation and generations to come receive clear and essential education on gender, sexuality, and consent.

The first hour will be led by Mela from NHCHC, who will compare and contrast the 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum with the ancient 1998 curriculum that will be reinstated this fall.

The second hour, facilitated by Jyss from speqtrum, will focus on developing a plan of action to ensure our peers receive the education they need and deserve.

Three Reasons Sexual Assault Centres Support Sex Ed


This September, Ontario will revert to an outdated 1998 sex-ed curriculum. Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC) believes that this shift will adversely impact Ontario’s young people.

Providing comprehensive sex-ed is first and foremost “about making sure that young people receive the information they need and are entitled to in order to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives”. With the repealing of the 2015 sex-ed curriculum, Ontario youth will miss out on the following vital content:

I. Education which fosters the prevention of sexual violence

Ontario’s 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum includes information about equitable and safe relationships, consent, sexual violence and online violence that young people need today. This is particularly important because we know that young populations are at a high statistical risk of experiencing sexual violence. For example:

  • In a Canadian criminal justice report, males made up 29% of child victims and 12% of youth victims¹. For males, being under 12 years old heightens their vulnerability to being targeted for sexual offences²
  • Young women between the ages of 15 and 25 years in Canada are the age group most likely to experience sexual or relationship violence³
  • Young women from excluded groups are more vulnerable to being targeted for sexual harassment and sexual assault4. This includes women of colour, disabled women, intersex, queer, trans, and Two Spirit women.

Education on sexual violence goes a long way towards prevention. Education offers innovative ways to challenge sexual assault myths and victim-blaming; and to reach out to diverse and young populations to talk about things that they may not be having conversations about at home. Education on sexual violence contributes to the prevention of sexual assault by:

  • supporting young people to understand their rights. By being prepared to offer information about sexual violence, educators help equip young people with a clear understanding of their bodies, their rights and where to go should they ever need support.
  • identifying the continuum of sexual violence (from harassment to rape)
  • supporting young people to challenge sexual assault myths
  • knowing the laws concerning sexual assault and consent

Education can also help others learn how to respond to survivors who disclose their experiences, and direct them to helpful supports in the community. Research indicates that many survivors wish to talk about their experiences, but fear the reactions of others. When survivors receive a positive response from their disclosures, the benefits of talking about one’s experience of sexual violence are in fact “associated with improved psychological health, increased comfort, support, and validation, and desired outcomes such as penalizing the perpetrator and protecting others”5. Other research shows that young survivors are most likely to disclose to a peer, family member or someone with whom they have a prior trusting relationship (that is, not necessarily to a social worker or other professional)6.

For these reasons alone, it’s important to talk with young people about sexual violence in the very spaces in which they spend much of their time – including at school. Continue reading

WAWG’s Response to Jordan Peterson


The Woman Abuse Working Group (WAWG) is a coalition of more than twenty
agencies in Hamilton, Ontario working to end violence against women and their

WAWG is writing to express our concerns about FirstOntario Concert Hall hosting
Jordan Peterson on July 20th, 2018.

Jordan Peterson presents a point of view that poses a risk to transgender and nonbinary
people, LGBQ2S communities, women, and racialized groups. Peterson has
publicly expressed that he doesn’t acknowledge the human rights of transgender and
non-binary people. Peterson is also on record rationalizing and justifying genderbased
murders: for example, when a man drove a van along Yonge, Peterson said,
“He was angry at God because women were rejecting him. The cure for that is
enforced monogamy. That’s actually why monogamy emerges.” Further examples
that demonstrate his concerning viewpoints are readily available in the media.

We support the public position of Councillor Matthew Green who has reservations
about Peterson addressing our Hamilton community. He states “It will bring
attention to the city. I don’t think it’s the type of attention or the type of activities
that bolster the reputation and brand we are trying to build here in the city.”
Additionally, as recently as a week ago, Durham City Council issued a statement
calling on the Durham community “to reject and resist bigotry wherever we
encounter it” in response to Peterson performing at the Durham Performing Arts
Centre. The Citadel Theatre in Edmonton also opted to cancel Peterson’s event in
February 2018.

While we don’t want to undermine anyone’s freedom of speech, it’s essential to
consider how Peterson’s messages promote hate and bigotry.